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J Intellect Disabil Res. 2001 Aug;45(Pt 4):335-43.

Assessing the need for reactive behaviour management strategies in children with intellectual disability and severe challenging behaviour.

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Clinical Psychology Training Course, University of Cardiff, Cardiff, UK.


The need for reactive behavioural management strategies for aggressive behaviours in adults with intellectual disability has been clearly established, but equivalent information concerning children with challenging behaviour is lacking by comparison. The present study was conducted in order to assess this need. A retrospective study was conducted to ascertain the nature of aggressive behaviours amongst a cohort children referred to a specialist support service. Aggressive behaviours were found to occur at high rates within the study group. Almost 60% of the children displayed aggression that occurred at least daily, and the behaviours resulted in serious consequences for carers in almost one-third of the group. Physical interventions were already in use in 56% of cases, but were largely improvised by carers. The need to include reactive behavioural training as part of an overall intervention package for carers of children with challenging behaviour appeared to be supported by the present results. The implications for training design are discussed.

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